THERE WILL BE SPLASHES OF COLOR
at Master Gardener Plant Sale
Apr. 10, 2016
By Helen R. Parks/Victoria County Master Gardener
Edited by Charla Borchers Leon/Victoria County Master Gardener
PHOTOS BY BRYNN LEE/VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
Imagine a rose with 17-25 petals on a bush that repeat blooms from spring until the first hard frost and reaches 4 to 5 feet in height and 3 feet wide. Grandma's Yellow Rose is hardy up to Zone 6, is disease-resistant and has been designated a Texas Superstar plant. It will be a popular selection at the April 23 sale.
One of the pink-blooming plants to expect at the upcoming plant sale is the desert rose. An example of sharing volunteer gardening expertise with the community, numerous of these plants have been nurtured from seed in the Master Gardener greenhouse by Master Gardener/Greenhouse Specialist Tom Akins.
Look for various red-blooming plants like this tropical hibiscus at the upcoming plant sale. It not only will pop in a sunny landscape or container but will attract pollinating visitors to your garden throughout its blooming season.
What comes to mind when you think of spring? Many people gravitate to outdoor activities that promote exercise and an enjoyment of nature's splashes of color.
Refreshing flower beds, trimming foliage and planting vegetable gardens are excellent ways to exercise and get back to nature. But, where do you begin? The Victoria County Master Gardeners' greenhouse and shade garden are filled with plants especially grown for the public to purchase and enjoy throughout the coming year.
Largest plant selection in history of sale
The Master Gardeners' annual plant sale is scheduled for April 23 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Victoria Educational Gardens Pavilion located at Victoria Regional Airport. More than 2,000 plant specimens, strategically located for the buyers' convenience in air-conditioned comfort will greet you as you enter the building. Whether you are looking for a specific plant or browsing the tables, Master Gardeners will be on hand to assist you when choosing the right plants and their care.
Members spent the last year planting seeds, propagating cuttings, and transplanting bulbs to provide the largest plant selection in their plant sale history. Tom Akins, a greenhouse specialist, nurtured from seed many beautiful desert roses that are sure to become a favorite.
Choosing plants wisely
Understanding the types of plants available is important when selecting and purchasing plants for a particular area of the landscape. Sun, shade, wet or dry areas are considerations before planting annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees and Texas Superstars. Master Gardeners will help the buyer choose wisely.
Annual plants complete their life cycle from seed to flower then die and must be replanted each year.
Perennials will die back or lay dormant in winter and reappear in spring. Others are evergreens and stay unchanged throughout the year. Some perennials produce a seed pod that can be replanted.
Trees are perennials with a long trunk and branches that sprout leaves. Some trees produce flowers, nuts or fruits. They can drop their leaves in the fall unless they are evergreens.
Shrubs have a short wood stem that produces branches and leaves. They can produce berries, flowers or colorful leaves. They can be groomed to make shapes or grown as barriers along walkways or boundaries. Evergreen shrubs remain green throughout the year.
According to Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Texas Superstar plants have been research-tested to adapt to Texas climate with minimal water needs in an urban landscape, and EarthKind Roses are tested for well-drained soils and insect and disease tolerance. Texas Superstar plants are hardy to heat, insect- and disease-tolerant with minimal care and chemical pest control. Visit texassuperstar.com to find Texas SmartScape ideas for landscape design and information for more than 200 plants.
Featured sale plants include those that attract butterflies, such as tropical butterfly weed and tropical milkweed, hummingbird favorites, such as Mexican hummingbird and other pollinators that will ensure your landscape will be buzzing with interesting birds and butterflies throughout the season.
The Master Gardener plant sale is an opportunity to experiment with different types of foliage that will spice up neglected areas. The Dutchman's pipe vine is a hardy plant that grows quickly to cover a chain link fence with variegated, maroon pipe-like blooms. It grows in full sun or partial shade and provides shade to a sunny porch. Healthy pruning will maintain its beauty, and it is a great host plant for butterfly eggs.
The Mary Helen Geranium, named for Victoria County Master Gardener Helen Boatman, is a bright red variety that thrives in this area. Tolerant to heat and well-drained soil, this plant is sure to brighten a front porch or patio for years to come.
New additions for this year's sale
A new addition to the sale will include beautifully potted plants ready to enjoy for those not-so-green thumb enthusiasts.
There will also be inexpensive potted salad bowls. Leafy items in these bowls can be harvested for added flavor and color to an ordinary salad.
Victoria County Master Gardeners invite everyone to come out and support the annual plant sale April 23. Purchase plants at reasonable prices and talk to our experts who love to share their passion for plants. Proceeds help support Victoria Educational Gardens.
Where do you begin?
Soil + plant + water + sunshine =
splashes of color.
The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension - Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• WHAT: Lunch and Learn With the Masters
• WHEN: Noon-1 p.m. Monday
• WHERE: Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center
• COST: Free
• TOPIC: "Alternative Vegetable Gardening Ideas" presented by Victoria County Master Gardener Sandi Coleman
• Bring your lunch
With pink blooms
• Belinda's Dream Rose
• Desert Rose
With red blooms
• Bat-face cuphea
• Dallas Red Lantana
• Hot Lips Salvia
• Tropical/Texas Star Hibiscus
With yellow blooms
• Grandma's Yellow Rose
• New gold antana
With orange blooms
• Cigar plant
• Tropical butterfly weed
With purple blooms/foliage
• Mexican heather
• Leaves of Moses-in-the-Boat
• Leaves of Purple Leaf Vitex
• Bleeding Heart
• Dutchman's Pipe
• Sweet Potato
• Belinda's Dream Rose
• Grandma's Yellow Rose
• New Gold Lantana
• Texas Star Hibiscus
• Benefiting Victoria Educational Gardens
• 8 a.m.-2 p.m. (or until sold out) April 23
• Victoria Educational Gardens Pavilion, 333 Bachelor Drive, Victoria Regional Airport